California Cycling CampSolvang wine country getaway
Explore vast landscapes of rolling vineyards and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and incredible wine in Santa Ynez Valley.
If combining extraordinary local food, wine and cycling sounds like the perfect vacation, this escape to Santa Barbara wine country is meant for you! Start every day with a healthy breakfast at the charming Ballard Inn & Gathering Table before setting out to explore the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley on two wheels, supported by The Cycling House guides. Each guided, supported ride boasts its own unique beauty – from an epic climb up the iconic Mount Gibraltar to a rolling journey toward the Pacific Ocean to quiet rides through wine country towns. You’ll love this trip’s variety and alluring routine: eat, ride, eat, drink wine, sleep.
- Relax at the charming 15-room Ballard Inn & Gathering Table in the Santa Ynez Valley
- Meander through rolling rural roads dotted with horse ranches, vineyards, and mountains, led by The Cycling House guides
- Enjoy homemade, family-style picnic lunches after rides
- Climb Mount Gibraltar, featured in the Tour of California
- Taste the fresh, seasonal food on-site and at our favorite local restaurants
- Sample the spectacular local varietals of this down-to-earth wine region
The Santa Ynez Valley is both a thriving wine country destination and a culinary hot spot. Throughout the trip, you’ll get to taste the innovative cuisine of this bountiful California region. You’ll be treated to a nourishing pre-ride breakfast, and the Cycling House’s talented chefs will prepare a family-style picnic lunch. Dinners include meals made by the Ballard Inn’s award-winning chef Budi Kazali, as well as evenings out at our favorite local restaurants.
Your home for the week is the award-winning Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, an inviting 15-room hotel with the cozy-yet-sophisticated feel of a bed and breakfast. In the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, the Ballard Inn serves as the perfect base for exploring nearby climbs, canyons and cute towns such as Solvang, Los Olivos and Buellton. After a day in the saddle, sit back and relax with a glass of wine on the wraparound porch before enjoying dinner at the intimate 12-table restaurant.
Welcome to the Santa Ynez Valley
Riders who fly into Santa Barbara (SBA) will be shuttled to the Ballard Inn. Upon arrival, we will have lunch served at the staff house, where we’ll also build bikes and fit rentals to get ready for an afternoon spin (official check-in at The Ballard Inn is not until 4 p.m.). We’ll go on a mellow 20- or 30-mile cruise through the vineyards and ranchlands of the Santa Ynez Valley and do a pre-camp briefing before dinner at the Ballard Inn’s on-site Gathering Table restaurant.
Arrival Spin in Ballard: 30 miles, ~1,500 feet of climbing, ~2 hours
Our longest ride of the week is an endurance challenge with some great climbs as we meander through vineyards on desolate country roads en route to the Pacific Ocean. A short stretch on Highway 1 will lead us to a light mid-ride picnic before we retrace our steps back. We also offer a shorter option that starts with a shuttle to Highway 1. No formal activities are planned for this afternoon, but many guests stroll down to the local park or relax on the front porch. Dinner will be in Solvang at Los Arroyos Mexican restaurant.
Jalama Beach: 59-84 miles, 4,300- 5,200 feet of climbing, ~5+ hours
We are excited to offer a new ride up Mount Gibraltar! The climb is very challenging but offers fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean and has been used as a mountain-top finish in the Tour of California. We will shuttle from The Ballard Inn to Handlebar Coffee in Santa Barbara. Grab a cortado or espresso to get you ready for the big climb. The ride is an out-and-back and can easily be extended for guests looking for a few more miles. The descent is fantastic! We will have lunch in Santa Barbara before shuttling back to Solvang. Dinner will be at Industrial Eats in Buellton.
Mount Gibraltar: 19 miles+, 3,300+ feet of climbing, ~2.5+ hours
Mount Figueroa or Recovery Ride
An easy valley spin is welcomed by most after a couple of solid days of riding. The route will include a coffee shop stop in Santa Ynez at The Bakers Table. If your legs are looking for a bigger challenge, we will also offer Mount Figueroa as an option – a true challenge with steeper pitches, amazing views and fun descents. This ride is a favorite of TJ Van Garderen, especially because of its European feel. The loop brings us up Happy Canyon and passes Michael Jackson’s former estate Neverland. A fun descent brings us back to the valley floor.
Today’s ride options:
Recovery Ride: 30 miles, 1,400 feet of climbing, ~2+hours
Mount Figueroa: 40+ miles, 4,700 feet of climbing, ~4+ hours
There’s something for everyone on this out-and-back ride through rolling hills, quiet roads, plenty of vineyards and open spaces. The route follows the wine trail north of Los Olivos on Foxen Canyon and climbs up Firestone Hill, which offers an expansive view of the valley. At Sisquoc, we have our first turnaround option, which makes for a 50-mile ride with 2,700 feet of climbing. A longer option is to head to the top of Tepusquet, making it a 68-mile ride with 4,300 feet of climbing. Riders looking for an even longer day can drop down the backside of Tepusquet and turn around at Highway 166, making this a 77-mile ride with 5,400 feet of climbing. We’ll retrace our route back to The Ballard Inn, where lunch will be ready when we return.
Foxen Canyon: The route options range from 50-77 miles, with 2,700–5,400 feet of climbing, ~3-5+ hours
We’ll say goodbye to The Ballard Inn and shuttle riders back to Santa Barbara for departures. Checkout is 11 a.m.
Shuttles to Santa Barbara in the morning. Checkout is 11 a.m.
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- Mar 15 - 20 $2,895 / Person
- Mar 22 - 27 $2,895 / Person
- Mar 29 - Apr 3 $2,895 / Person
- 5 nights accommodations (double occupancy)
- Airport transfers to/from Santa Barbara International Airport (SBA)
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Afternoon appetizers and wine
- Mechanical support (including bike build and breakdown)
- Professional trip guides
- Daily sag support
- Ride nutrition products
- High-quality ride photos
What's Not Included
- Bike rentals
- Gratuity for guides
- Mid-ride café stops
- Personal shopping
- Massage therapy
- Single occupancy (+$900)
- Wine tasting
- Lap swim
- Core/stretching sessions
- Hiking/trail running
Rent A Bike
Traveling through the airport with a bike—and paying for it to fly—is not everyone’s idea of a fun way to start a vacation. Fortunately, we offer high-quality, full carbon bikes on all of our trips across the United States and Europe. Want to just show up and ride? Just bring your shoes, pedals, helmet, and saddle (if you want), and rent one of ours.
Bring Your Own
Your bike is yours—we get it. Bringing your own bike has obvious advantages in terms of individual comfort. Before your trip, we suggest getting a tune-up at your local bike shop so it’s ready to roll for your week of riding. Once you arrive, we’ll be sure to have our mechanics build it and help with any necessary tweaks. Check out some helpful resources here:
Skip The Bike
If you or your travel partner want to enjoy the trip and explore a new destination without a bike, drop us a line and we’ll discuss options. Some trips are better suited for non-rider participants than others.
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